When I was in elementary school, I would often wear sweatshirts even when the weather didn't call for it. I was embarrassed by my belly.
Middle school I started wearing shorts and baggy t-shirts or tanks with my bathing suits. I used to say it took me so long to learn to swim because the water scared me, that was a lie.
Sophomore year, I was excited to borrow some of my sisters old clothes. A friend of mine mentioned how I shouldn't try to squeeze into things that didn't fit. For the longest time it was really hard for me to grasp that I, the younger sister, was growing to be the larger sister.
Junior year I had my first panic attack at school because I was last to finish running the mile in gym class. I was embarrassed. I collapsed in the stairwell and my teacher had to send a friend to come check on me.
Nine months ago I started taking better care of both my mind and body. I stopped believing there were things I couldn't do. I stopped telling myself that running sucks, because ACTUALLY it makes my anxiety almost disappear.
Three months ago was the first time in four or five years that I willingly stepped onto a scale by myself- not because of the number, but because it was the first time I knew I wouldn't care what it said. I learned that with a healthier body comes a healthier mind.
Two months ago I laid out on a beach towel next to my friend, shorts free for the first time in 8 years.
At age 21, I have begun to love every bump, roll, stretch-mark, and scar. I have begun to say that I love myself, I'm proud of myself, and truly mean it.
I'm still on my self-acceptance journey, and I will always be. Sharing this journey is just another step, and I want to thank you all for allowing me to do so. .
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